Thursday, December 2, 2010

Second Wind

Perhaps it's just that time of year, or maybe it's NaNo exhaustion for many of us, but the word that I'm seeing and hearing more than ever is burnout.

Several people have written about it lately. There's a general exhaustion floating about in the blogosphere.

To me, burnout is burnout. And writing is writing. Whether it's on our blogs or on our other pieces, we all reach that crazy point of lethargy at one point or another.

Cheryl wrote about it on Mommy Pants recently, in Toast. She so perfectly described what so many of us go through: "[t]wo blogs. Stat watching. Fretting over stats. Losing confidence. Wondering if it's worth it. Wondering why nobody likes me. Pretending not to care. Not caring. Then fretting about not caring. Over-caring. Caring so much it hurts." (Cheryl has been working through it and we'll have to get her to share her tips with us.)

Natalie, from Mommy of a Monster, also wrote about it in Bloggy Burnout. She described the signs of burnout as when "[b]logging has become just one more thing that is always on your "To-Do" list. It has become a chore." Natalie has since made some changes that seem to be working for her. (Perhaps she'll weigh in in the comments to share some insight.)

Jane, of Aging Mommy, has decided to stop blogging so that she can focus on the rest of her life. She explains that she has begun to feel that blogging "feels too much of a job rather than a hobby." (We'll miss you Jane, but we wish you a world of happiness.)

We blog, we respond to comments, we read other blogs, we comment on other blogs, and we try to craft something, something bigger, on the side. And often, it all begins to feel like an endless pit.

Many of us who struggle with this burnout work through it and get our second (and third, and fourth, and...) wind. But how does that happen, exactly?

What makes you keep at it? The blogging? The writing?

For me, it's knowing that although I neither see myself as the next up-and-coming novelist, nor do I believe I'm a threat to the likes of The Pioneer Woman, I do hope for something more than what I have now. And that won't happen without work. It just won't.

So, when I feel burnout, I take a few days to regroup. I sulk, I wallow, I complain. Then I get sick of myself and get back to it. The sulking, wallowing, and complaining are critical to my process of getting back on track.

Whether it's the blogging, or the work in progress that we all seem to be tending to, burnout is real and we all need some coping strategies.

I'm curious to know how each of you deal with it. I'd love to build a list of ideas that we can all mine, just in case our own methods grow stale and we're feeling adrift and discouraged.

What do you tell yourself when you just don't feel like doing writing anymore?

What motivates you to just do it?

How do you keep plugging along?

No comments: